Healthy & Yummy! Holiday Gingerbread

Written by: on Thursday, December 19th, 2013
HolidayGingerbreadCookies

‘Tis the season for holiday baking! With a few smart substitutions, your treats can be a lot healthier.

Decorating gingerbread men. Building gingerbread houses. Holiday baking with your kids is always special. But these two gingerbread projects can be tricky and time consuming. Since I love gingerbread, I developed this recipe for gingerbread squares. It’s easy and are you ready for this: it’s fat-free. That’s because instead of using shortening or oil, you make a healthy substitution and use unsweetened applesauce. I have discovered that swapping the applesauce for the traditional fat results in gingerbread that is light and moist and nobody seems to notice the difference.

I always make gingerbread squares when I ‘m hosting a party or having a few friends over for holiday cheer.  The sweet gingerbread aroma is so inviting, it will make your home smell like a Christmas bake shop. One whiff and your guests won’t want to leave. (Maybe that is not a good thing?!)  I usually serve the gingerbread squares with a big dollop of Cool Whip or frozen vanilla yogurt. How do you like to eat your gingerbread?

healthy gingerbread Gingerbread Squares

Makes 16 servings

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups whole-wheat white flour

2/3 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

1 cup molasses

3 egg whites

light or fat-free whipped topping (optional)

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 325-degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and spices, and stir to mix well. Add the applesauce, molasses, and egg whites, and mix until dry ingredients are moist and combined. Be careful not to over-mix.

2) Coat a 9-X-13-inch pan with cooking spray, and spread the batter in the pan. Bake for 40 minutes or just until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

3) Cool the gingerbread to room temperature and cut into squares. Serve the gingerbread with a dollop of whipped topping if desired.

Nutrition Information: 180 calories, 3 grams protein, 41 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams dietary fiber, 0.5 gram fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 215 milligrams sodium